September 7, 2008
The only really fair trade is free trade and some Fairtrade is actually anything but, as Dr Marsden Pririe writes at the Adam Smith Institue:
. . . the Fairtrade movement selects some producers to favour over others, insisting on cooperatives at the expense of family farms. By paying higher than market prices, it ensures that its favoured farmers do not have to respect market conditions which might tell others to cut back production in the event of a world surplus. They continue to plant and expand production, adding to the surplus and depressing prices for millions of poor farmers. As Griffiths says,
This is not just a matter of one lot of farmers receiving a little more and another lot a little less. It means subsidizing 1.5m coffee workers while paying 25m farm families – the coffee growers who are not part of Fairtrade – a lot less. Most of these are subsistence producers, whose income from coffee is tiny. Any fall in income will mean children dying from malnutrition or malaria.
This is one of those cases in which what were probably good intentions have ended up doing far more harm than good. Indeed, Griffiths closes by describing Fairtrade in uncompromising terms as “a scheme which threatens the impoverishment of millions.”
Hat tip: Anti Dismal
September 7, 2008
A new blog botheyseopen purports to be:
…committed to the coming election being about parties’ real policies and real intentions, not personalities and spin…We are committed to the coming election being about parties’ real policies and real intentions, not personalities and spin.
That’s all part of the democratic process, and while I don’t agree with their obviously anti-National views they have a right to express them.
However, they are encouraging people to download and distribute posters and leaflets. These are authorised by John Carter, 77 Overtoun Tce Hataitai Wellington but he has no way of controlling the number and therefore accounting for the cost of what gets printed and distributed and so he’ll be breaching the Electoral Finance Act.
The website says:
We are committed to honesty, openness and transparency in politics… No, we are not from political parties – most New Zealanders aren’t – but we care about New Zealand and where we are going.
But the only name on the website is Carter’s so “we” are not being open, honest and transparent.
And of course it could just be a coincidence that it’s parroting Labour lines; and that like Labour and the other parties which rammed through the EFA, is ignoring it.
Hat Tip: Roarprawn
September 7, 2008
To celebrate or not to celebrate that is the quesiton?
Can we still enjoy the essence of any of these days – fathers, mothers, Valentines … in which we acknowledge the special people in our lives or has the commercialism all got too much?
My father died nine years ago, but my brothers and I used to give him a little something on Fathers Day always -liquorice all sorts when we were kids (not without a degree of self interest because he always shared them with us).
My farmer reckons it’s better to know you’re loved every day than to be regarded as special just once a year, and he’s right. But he does appreciate that our daughter lets lets him know she appreciates him on Fathers Day and I still welcome any chance for a celebration. which can be marked by a gift from the heart rather than from a shop so you’re not buying into the commercial hype.
So happy Fathers Day to all the dads.
Statistics NZ crunched some numbers as their way of acknowledging fathers and came up with these figures:
- The average age of fathers of new babies is 33 years, but one in 100 babies has a father aged 50 years or over.
- Today’s newborn babies have fathers who are, on average, five years older than their own fathers were when they were born.
- Fathers with children aged under one year manage 42 minutes less sleep than the average of 8.5 hours.
- Over a lifetime, fathers have seven fewer Father’s Days, on average, than mothers have Mother’s Days. This is because men generally start parenting later in life and women have a longer life span.
- More than a quarter (28 percent) of babies born in New Zealand last year were to fathers who were not themselves born in New Zealand. This compares with 22 percent a decade ago.
- On Father’s Day 2007, 145 babies were born.
- Men still tend to marry women younger than themselves, but the gap between their average ages at first marriage has narrowed. In 1967, the gap averaged 2.5 years, but by 2007 it had narrowed to 1.8 years.
At the time of the 2006 Census:
- Approximately 19 percent of fathers had a tertiary qualification of a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Approximately 13 percent of fathers worked from home or didn’t go to work on census day.
- Fathers were more likely to help around the home than other men – 91 percent of men who live in a parent and dependent child family did household work, cooking, repairs, gardening, and the like, for their own household compared with just 79 percent of men who were not living in a parent and dependent child family.
And I won’t spoil the spirit of celebration by asking of the last point how much of that help around the home they did in comparison with mothers 🙂
Update: Keeping Stock has another perspective on Fathers Day here.
Update 2: Other posts on Fathers Day over at Roarprawn and The Hand Mirror and a cynics view at the Dim Post